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Klompendansers take over Pella street during 75th Tulip Time
Community hopes for world record
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
PELLA, Iowa – Traditional Klompendans events in the Netherlands are usually very modest happenings, in which onlookers easily outnumber participants. But this was small town Dutch America where it is still possible to motivate people, even those without Dutch roots, to join an attempt at setting a world record klompendansen at a Pella Dutch heritage anniversary celebration.
Founded by the followers of the 1834 Secession leader, Rev. H. Scholten in 1847, Pella has experienced many celebrations in the past, but few as large as the community’s 75th Tulip Time. Chamber Director Karen Eischen thought the event was awesome, noting that everyone seemed to have had a good time.
Organizers agree that this year's event success due to the massive wooden shoe dance. A total of 2,604 people, all wearing wooden shoes, gathered in the streets surrounding Pella’s Central Park for an attempt to break the world record for people in wooden shoes dancing at one time.
If the total number of participants is noteworthy, so are the circumstances, because the klompendansers braved cold spring weather and a slight drizzle. They also are to be commended for keeping in step with the music, which for many must have been hard to hear over the deafening wooden taps of thousands of wooden shoes.
Although it will take weeks before it is known whether or not Guinness will recognize Pella’s world record, participants and onlookers alike will always remember the huge wooden shoe event. The klompendans generated a lot of enthusiasm, noted Bonnie Verburg, who manages Pella’s full-scale, Dutch designed and built Vermeer Windmill.
The exposure Pella receives each year through Tulip Time, enhanced this year through the klompendans, aids in marketing the town’s Dutch distinctiveness and the surrounding Red Rock area.
Any one interested can find visual/audio clips of the world’s largest klompendans on Youtube.